Ballinger shines as Trojans upset Central
The Chase Trojans have been waiting for a breakout performance all season. They finally got one in the form of Aaron Ballinger who struck out 14 Hilltoppers and went 2-3 at the plate with an RBI in the Trojans 2-1 win over their county rivals.
The win snaps Chase’s 13-game losing streak as they improve to 2-13 on the year.
“Aaron threw a heck of a game but it was a total team effort,” said Chase coach Matt Tipton . “Hunter Henson was called up to varsity just before the game and blocked the place twice. He came up huge for us tonight. You could see our confidence growing with each inning. What a great win for this team.”
The two teams were locked in pitcher’s duel in the early going. Chase’s Aaron Ballinger relied on the strikeout pitch punching out the first five men he faced why Conner Dailey pitched to contact. He worked around hits by Ballinger and Kyle Bingham to keep the game scoreless through two innings.
Central broke through in the third. Joel McDaniel led off the inning with a triple to the gap in right center field. He came home on a wild pitch. Ballinger buckled down and retired the side to keep the Trojan deficit at 1-0.
Chase struck back in the bottom half as Ballinger singled home Robbie Evans who had singled and moved to second on a bunt by Bingham.
After Ballinger struck out the side in the fourth, Chase took the lead in their next at bat. Caleb Lancaster dropped a single on the right field line. After he stole second, Geoffry Rollins bounced a single up the middle to score Lancaster and give Chase a 2-1 lead.
The visitors made a bid to tie the contest in the fifth.
Dustin McEntire led off with a single and eventually moved to third with two outs. Ballinger then uncorked a pitch to the backstop, but the ball bounced right to catcher Hunter Henson. Henson then tossed to Ballinger who blocked the plate for the third out.
Central threatened again in the sixth.
Tyler Morgan led off with a double and moved to third on a wild pitch. Will Owens then grounded to shortstop Josh Epley who came home with the ball and Henson once again blocked the plate for the 6-2 putout. Ballinger then strukout the next to batters to retire the side.
Central put two more runners on in the sixth, but the Hilltoppers just could not solve Ballinger who had two more strikeouts in the frame to leave the tally at 2-1.
Ballinger put the fishing touches on his stellar evening by striking out the side in the seventh to claim the complete-game victory.